Our Stories


Pounamu taonga showcased in Paris

Earlier this month an exhibition of more than 200 pounamu taonga opened at Musée du quai Branly-Jacques Chirac, in Paris. The exhibition was created by Te Papa with collaboration from Ngāi Tahu and features pounamu taonga from all tribal areas of New Zealand.  The exhibition is called ‘La pierre sacrée des Māori’ (the sacred Māori…

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The Arahura Deed, 1860

Assistant Native Secretary and Assistant Land Purchase Commissioner James Mackay Junior first visited Te Tai Poutini in 1857 from Collingwood. He was greeted courteously at Māwhera (Greymouth) by Werita Tainui’s older brother Tarapuhi, who was said to be a very well made, muscular man over six feet in height. Mackay told Tarapuhi that his land…

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Celebrating Te Kerēme – the Ngāi Tahu Claim

On 21 November 1997, Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu and the Crown signed the Ngāi Tahu Deed of Settlement at Takahanga Marae, a significant milestone in settling 150 years of grievances, hardships and negotiations since the beginning of Te Kerēme – the Ngāi Tahu Claim. The Deed of Settlement provided acknowledgement from the Crown of…

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Ngāi Tahu recognised in prestigious planning awards

In April, Te Ngāi Tūāhuriri Rūnanga and Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu were awarded two prestigious awards from the New Zealand Planning Institute at the annual conference held in Wellington. The Draft Waimakariri Residential Red Zone Recovery Plan released in February 2016, won two titles at the awards: the Best Practice in Strategic Planning and…

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Ngā Hau e Whā
From the Editor

In this issue we take the opportunity to acknowledge Tā Mark Solomon on his 18 years as Kaiwhakahaere o Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu. We reflect upon his contribution to Ngāi Tahu, to Māoridom, and in fact to the whole of Aotearoa.

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From the CEO

This year Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu celebrates 20 years since the Settlement was signed with the Crown in 1997. At that time our tribal membership registration was around 8500. In comparison, more than 56,000 are registered today. The year ahead will be a walk down memory lane as we set out to celebrate the long pathway leading up to the Settlement through a number of events, to be held in the coming months.

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Rock Art gets rocking!

TE RERENGA – THE FLIGHT is an acoustic rock musical featuring 80 intriguing and detailed “Flatso” puppets inspired by Māori rock art sites in the Aoraki region. It’s a re-telling of the Ngāi Tahu legend of Pourangahua the Birdman and his epic flight to Aotearoa in search of his own kind.

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Ka hao te Rakatahi
Youth custody Index

A few people have been asking me questions because of my last column. Chiefly, what is the “Youth Custody Index” (YCI), and what is it all about?
The YCI is a St Thomas of Canterbury College project run by a group of senior students and is a collation of information regarding the state of youth in custody in New Zealand – both good and bad. The point of the index is to spark debate and raise awareness of any discrepancies and issues.

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Te Rangitaki a Te Ranui
Eat noodles, find husband…

After learning thousands of characters, attending hundreds of classes, making dozens of friends from all over the world, travelling to several new places, sitting four exams, and completing two semesters, my time in China is coming to an end.
I remember when I first arrived, thinking about how much I took the small pleasures of home for granted. Things like a clear blue sky, fresh air, the green landscape, being able to see the horizon, the stars at night, how fresh our food generally is, how you can get from one side of town to the other without any hassles, and so on. Now, I find myself thinking similarly about China.

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Walking the talk

Tā Mark Solomon is not the kind of man who speaks at length about himself. He values his privacy and he’s prone to under-playing any suggestion that he’s made a significant contribution to Māoridom, to Ngāi Tahu.
The fact that he was knighted in 2013 in recognition of the work he has done for Ngāi Tahu and for Māoridom is a case in point. His initial reaction was to baulk at the honour, but there were those who told him to “pull his head in,” that it wasn’t just for him, it was for the tribe. He relates how he was told firmly to “get up there to Wellington and receive the honour on behalf of the tribe.”

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